Mexican drug cartels use video games to recruit children


Mexican drug cartels use video games to recruit children

Authorities say gangsters communicate with and recruit youngsters by entering the gaming space as players

Maya Averbuch

Mexico’s government is warning parents to keep an eye on their children’s video game activity after cases emerged of drug cartels allegedly recruiting minors through online platforms.

Security officials gave details this week about a case in Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca of three minors who boarded a bus with the promise of receiving payment for working as police lookouts in the country’s north. Recruiters use initials for violent cartels such as the Jalisco New Generation, the Cartel of the Northeast and other groups to find their potential targets, deputy security chief Ricardo Mejia said.

Murders in Mexico have remained near record levels as drug traffickers and other organised crime syndicates fight among each other and with authorities, leaving a trail of grisly murders and mass graves, including in states such as Zacatecas that were once considered safe. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has pledged to use a “hugs not bullets” approach to expand social programmes to bring down homicides, which he says dropped 3.4% so far this year, but violence remains high...

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